Allan Folsom, a struggling screenwriter whose first novel, an intricate thriller called “The Day After Tomorrow,” was by some accounts the highest-priced fiction debut in publishing history when its rights sold for $2 million in 1993, died on May 16 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 72.
The cause was metastatic melanoma, his wife, Karen, said.
After more than 30 years of trying, often unsuccessfully, to sell film and television scripts, Mr. Folsom wrote “The Day After Tomorrow” about an American doctor who becomes embroiled in a neo-Nazi cabal to resurrect Hitler.
Aaron Priest, Mr. Folsom’s literary agent, thought he could sell the rights to the book for $50,000 to $250,000. He presented the manuscript to seven publishing houses and within two days he was fielding calls from three of them. Little, Brown and Company and Warner Books soon bought the manuscript for a combined $2 million. At the time, an acceptable advance for a first-time novelist was $5,000 to $7,500.
“As best as we can tell,” Mr. Priest said in an article in The New York Times about the deal, “this is the highest sale of a first novel since Bantam Books paid more than a million for Sally Beauman’s ‘Destiny’ in 1985.”
After the international and movie rights were sold, Mr. Folsom had grossed nearly $5 million. Some reviewers, like the novelist Robert Ward, worried that the book might not live up to the publicity.
“It would take something twisted, wild, ambitious, unputdownable and outrageous simply to compete with his own hype,” Mr. Ward wrote in his review in The Los Angeles Times in 1994. But he added: “Let me put it this way: I started ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ yesterday at two in the afternoon, and finished reading it, my eyes bleeding, at 3 a.m.” The novel debuted at No. 3 on The New York Times’s best-seller list and stayed on the list for months. It was never made into a movie; an unrelated film with the same title came out in 2004.
Allan Reed Folsom was born on Dec. 9, 1941, in Orlando, Fla. He grew up in Newton, Mass., and graduated from Boston University in 1963.
He moved to California, where he worked as a film editor and cameraman and on documentaries and TV movies.
He married Karen Glick in 1979, whose work as a management consultant largely supported them for years. Besides her, he is survived by their daughter, Riley Folsom; and a sister, Catherine Bacon.
Mr. Folsom went on to write more best sellers like “Day of Confession” and“The Machiavelli Covenant.” He wrote his last three novels after he was diagnosed with melanoma and was working on his sixth when he died.
Reflecting on the deal for his first novel, Mr. Folsom told The Los Angeles Times that he thought $2 million was a steep price.
“But on the other hand,” he added, “if you amortize it over the 30 years I’ve been working, it isn’t that much.”
Allan Reed Folsom (December 9, 1941 – May 16, 2014) was an American screenwriter and novelist.
Born in Orlando, Florida, Folsom grew up in Boston, United States. In 1963, he worked as a camera man, editor, writer and producer in California. He then wrote scripts for TV series and films, such as Hart To Hart.
He wrote five books: The Day After Tomorrow (1994), Day of Confession (1998), The Exile (2004), The Machiavelli Covenant (2006) and The Hadrian Memorandum(2009)
His first novel, The Day After Tomorrow, debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list and netted over 1.2 million copies.
He lived in Santa Barbara, California with his family. He died there on May 16, 2014 of metastatic melanoma.
- The Day After Tomorrow (1994)
- Day of Confession (1998)
- The Exile (2004)
- The Machiavelli Covenant (2006)
- The Hadrian Memorandum (2009)
The Day After Tomorrow (novel)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the Robert Heinlein novel, see Sixth Column.
For other uses, see The Day After Tomorrow (disambiguation).
The Day After Tomorrow (1994) is a thriller novel by Allan Folsom which appeared in the number 3 spot in its first week on the New York Times bestseller list for fiction. Despite this being the first novel by Folsom, the American publishing rights for it were sold for two million dollars.
Paul Osborn sees the man who has murdered his father years before while walking through Paris. When he sees the murderer again his memories take over. After a detective found out about Henri Kanarack, Osborn plans to kill him. McVey comes to Paris in order to meet some experts on the case of a couple decapitations, where the bodies and heads were found deep-frozen. A few days later Osborn tries to kill Kanarack, but when he's nearly dead a third person enters the scene. He shoots Kanarack and the last information Osborn could get from Kanarack was that he was murdering Osborn's father for hire of Erwin Scholl. Osborn tells McVey about Scholl. Out of McVey's researches arises that Osborn's father invented a scalpel that can be used at degrees of absolute zero and that in the same year he was killed a few other inventors were killed, whose inventions were all about surgery at extremely high or low temperatures and all vanished. Because of that McVey and his investigation team have a suspicion that Scholl and his people might belong to an organization that's working on surgery making it possible to combine deep-frozen body parts and to thaw it so the person is alive.
Time passes, and McVey finds out about Elton Lybarger and a ceremony that should be held in Berlin. During this in the main hall of the building Elton Lybarger is giving the speech. Suddenly all doors close and all people inside the main hall are gassed with cyanide gas. Right after the cyanide attack the building is set to fire and Osborn nearly perishes. After Osborn followed Von Holden, the only remaining organization member, to Switzerland and is nearly killed McVey gives Osborn a VCR tape, on which Osborn finds a whole confession of Elton Lybarger's physician. He confesses having experienced the surgery on Lybarger, because they were searching for a person, whose attributes and fingerprints were as much as the same as Adolf Hitler's, and having helped the organization, who was trying to build a new third Reich, to raise Lybarger's two “nephews”, the perfect Aryans, who were raised with him since they were young. According to Salettl one of them should be the new leader after having undergone an operation. Osborn can't remember exactly what happened in Switzerland, but then the scene replays in his mind. He sees how Van holden falls into a crevasse and how he opens the package Von Holden had been carrying with him all the time, and it's the deep-frozen head of Adolf Hitler.